33. Anders Kristiansson:"Dare to challenge."

In this Masterclass we feature Anders Kristiansson. Anders was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2017. He became famous for making the 80's Swedish Men's National Volleyball Team one of the best in Europe and in the world.

33. Anders Kristiansson:"Dare to challenge."

Since then he coached in the Italian Serie A1 in the early 90's leading the teams of Bologna and Treviso. Won 15 National Championships with Belgian's Noliko Maaseik taking them to 3 European Final Four tournaments. (played 2 finals!)

Following his term in Belgium, Anders won 3 National Championship titles with Greece’s Iraklis Thessoloniki and Olypiacos Pireus.

In 2013 he was named head coach of Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza in Japan’s V-League becoming one of the first foreign coaches ever in Japanese volleyball. His impact was immediately felt leading Toyoda to a National Championship, and the National and Emperors Cup Titles.

Anders has been and is an example for many European coaches.

Our dedicated readers will have seen Anders' name pop up in the Masterclass with Dutch Olympic Gold Medalist coach Joop Alberda and Tommi Tillikainen's Masterclass

Joop about Anders:"But it was his personal attitude towards playing volleyball, what it means to be part of a team, the importance of everybody on that team having the same goal...for that day and age(late 80's), it was really a new way of thinking. It really impressed me."

Anders, when did you decide to become a professional volleyball coach?

It's not like a day where you say: 'Now I become a professional coach.'

I was working for club teams in Sweden. I was a player and I was a player-coach for many years. And then I started to train junior national teams for the Swedish federation.

Swedish national teams offered me a half-time job. I was teaching at school and then eventually I could quit that teaching job. So that could maybe be called professional, but I did also a lot more than just coaching.

So it was something that grew gradually. I worked many years like that with the national team and club teams in Sweden. But I was full time for the Swedish Federation, so to speak.

After many years working like this, I had many requests to go to professional clubs here in Europe. So that was in 1988, I think, after already having many good results with the national team and at that moment I went to Italy to coach there.

I guess it's like this for most of the coaches around, that it's something that is growing and you start out and see that this is interesting and that you want to further pursue this course.

What advice would you give yourself as a starting coach? An advice that is so clear and logic for you now, but that you developed over the years.

I must have been only in my early twenties when I started to coach. And back then I was probably quite sure about everything. What was the right thing to do. And like always youngsters should use the experience of older people or more experienced coaches.

But in my case, there was nobody to listen to. Because Sweden had no volleyball culture.

They had no generation actually before me playing volleyball. So I didn't know who to listen to. There was no internet, there was nothing about volleyball that I could find.

So I had to make up my own truth. Maybe I should have taken it easier a little bit to take it step by step and make it simpler for myself?

But again, there was nobody to talk to, no volleyball press or books or anything like that. Maybe you could go to a European championship to watch a few games.

I don't know if you realize that you're speaking with somebody who started in the mid 60's.:-)

So it's, it's hard to say what I should have done differently, but today, of course, there are many, many, many better possibilities. To meet people, to look stuff up, to Google the things. To get information and form your idea of what you want to do for a certain time.

Building a base of what you want to do or do on a little bit longer term than the next training.

Do you have a particular goal? Maybe a goal that you already reached or a goal that is so hard to reach that it gives you daily motivation?

I always have trouble with the word 'goal'.

For me, a goal is something that you can measure. As long as I can remember, I have been thinking like this. And what can you measure?

That is how good your passing has to be? How good does your attack have to be?How many errors can you allow? Or can you allow any errors? It goes for every fundamental from serving, passing, blocking, attacking, defense, or whatever, try to measure as much as possible.